Bell Digest v931125p2

From: RuneQuest-Request@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (RQ Digest Maintainer)
To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (Daily automated RQ-Digest)
Reply-To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (RuneQuest Daily)
Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Thu, 25 Nov 1993, part 2
Precedence: junk


From: (Graeme A Lindsell)
Subject: Much Ado About Nothing
Message-ID: <>
Date: 25 Nov 93 19:46:06 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2431

Just some collected replies:
Nick Brooke says:

>The Lunars understand the void of nothingness
>better than anyone else

 Do they? Do you have something to back up this statement? (of
course you do, I ask only out of personal curiosity...:-) ). I would
think their philosophy would deal with cycles a lot, but where
does their interest in nothingness come from? I'm sure they _believe_
they know the most about it, but they believe that about everything...

>The God Learners
>don't have the same acquaintanceship with the emptiness of non-being, and
>aren't famous for accounting or engineering finesse.

 Wasn't there a big argument about double-entry book keeping in Glorantha
a few months back? Someone suggested that the God Learners (a mercantile
empire) may have invented it, and the Lunars copied. As for the God
Learner's engineering talent, there are so few remaining examples above
the surface of the seas.

 Mark Sullivan on Zero:
>some one else with a really long concept of historical

 How about the Brithini? Very long _personal_ concept of time, and
they are one of the few cultures with a real belief in nothingness:
it's what they think is in store for them after death. Given that
the Malkionist creation myth starts from zero, I have no problems with
crediting Zzabur with the idea. I could even start comparing the ancient,
caste obeying Brithini with the ancient, caste obeying Hindus who
invented zero on Earth, especially since I'm always keen to compare
the Westerners to someone apart from Medieval Europeans, a region
that's been done to death in modern fantasy.

Someone else whose identity I've lost:
>> Of course, it could have been "introduced" in two separate places...=20

 I'd say the Brithini and the Dragons, personally. As for the Lunars
inventing it, I've always seen them as rather short on new ideas, more
given to rediscovering old ones (like the Red Goddess :-)

John Medway on shields:
>I'd prefer a more GURPS-like mechanic, here. In GURPS, a shield adds "passive
>defense" to several locations, automatically. It is also usable for blocking
>blows. The problem with RQ armor *and shields* is that the system only takes
>penetration resistance into account, not deflection ability.

 The simplest mechanic would be to give someone a few extra points of
armour as well as the ability to parry, say 2 points for a small
shield and 4 for a large. Only applies to attacks from the front, of
course. One thing I find weak about GURPS passive defense is that
it doesn't take into account weapons that could just punch through the
shield: chance to hit is reduced no matter how much damage you do (though
they may have changed this in a more recent edition)

>A legion is a legion is a ...

 Anywhere between 4300 (late republican, Polybius ) and 5120 or more
(Imperial, from "The Roman Empire: A Study in Survival" by Chester G Starr,
a terrific little book!)

charles gregory fried in X-RQ-ID: 2325
>>  - Once combat was engaged, it was VERY difficult to perform any maneuvers
>>  with a hoplite phalanx.  The general's role and skill would come into play
>>  only before the troops met toe to toe.

 I was just reading Polybius and he was saying that the great advantage
of the Roman legions was their greater maneuverability: a phalanx would
win on a flat plain, but anywhere else the legions would win, as the gladius
and shield was a lot more flexible than the pike and shield.

John again replying to Sandy
>>  There's plenty of ways to defend against Sunspear. The stupid thing
>>  only does 4d6 damage, after all. If you're wearing 5-point+ armor,

>Um, ONLY 4d6? Lessee, that's ONLY the same as a Troll hitting a line drive
>with a maul. That's ONLY about as much damage as you take from someone
>charging you with a lance while on a medium-small horse.

 Yes, but 4d6 isn't much for a 3 point divine spell you can only cast
on bright days. My Sword of Humakt does an average of 32 points of
damage on a hit using 1 point of divine (Truesword) and 8 points of
spirit magic (Bladesharp 7 and Strength 1).

 Anthony Ragan writes:
>I've seen many references to the Syndics' Ban.  But I can't find any
>explanation as to who these Syndics themselves were.  So.....who were
>the Syndics and why did they lay this ban down on western Genertela?

 Since "syndic" means "goverment official" (as I only just found out
by consulting a dictionary...) I assume they were the group of priests
and sorcerers who accompanied Prince Snodal (the Syndic in Chief:-) ) to
assassinate the God of Silver Feet.

 According to the Glorantha Pack and Heroes No 6, Snodal had seen an
atlas of the future while heroquesting that showed Fronela destroyed.
He orgainised the Ban to isolate Fronela from the outside world so that
whatever curse that would destroy it could not reach it. By destroying
the God of Silver Feet, the local god of communication, all
communication inside and to and from Fronela was blocked.

 A few of my own questions:

 - could the devastated Fronela Snodal saw in the book be the result
of the Ban itself, which we know inflicted great destruction on the
region? Could the atlas have been a self-fulfilling prophecy?

 - Killing a god for mundane advantage is a markedly God Learnerish
act. Could the Loskalmi have some GL knowledge?

 - Though some people say predictive magic is impossible in Glorantha
due to the effects of Time, obviously the Gods and Heroes who are
outside Time can see the future with ease.

 - Most of the people I play RQ with are public servants (Canberra
is a goverment town). I can call them "Syndics" now. :-)

 Graeme Lindsell a.k.a


From: WALLMAN@VAX2.Winona.MSUS.EDU (Personal friend of Little Elvis)
Subject: mountains, domes, blue moon query
Message-ID: <01H5PN8OUN8Y000T1T@VAX2.Winona.MSUS.EDU>
Date: 24 Nov 93 18:50:12 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2432

RE: Kero Fin's shadow effecting lunar magicians:
Doesn't is sound good that Orlanth's mother is protecting here son's 
people by shielding them from the harmful rays of the moon?  If her 
substance is sufficiently magical (she is a goddess after all), her 
shadow might be more potent than the shadow of an ordinary mountain.  

RE: height of the moon
IF Kero Fin does cast a shadow to Whitewall, it must be less than 80 km
(derivation omitted).  

RE: height of crater walls
The Genertela Book says "kilometers" [p. 35].

RE: atmosphere way up there
I also like the idea of the dual domes, however I always assumed that
the atmosphere extended all the way up to the top dome.  There are
cities on that dome, and it seems reasonable to say they have some 
air to breath, fly through, transmit sound waves through, etc..  Of course 
Orlanth does not storm up there.  I explain this away by saying that air is
Sky air and what Orlanth mucks about in is Middle Air.  

I have never seen anything in print on the length of time between tides 
other than to say they occur now and then and what happens.  Could someone 
give a description of this?  



From: 100270.337@CompuServe.COM (Nick Brooke)
Subject: Gloranthan stuff
Message-ID: <931125080513_100270.337_BHB62-1@CompuServe.COM>
Date: 25 Nov 93 08:05:13 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2433

Mark Sullivan asked:

> Nick, could you explain why you are certain of this.  Where does
> Dara Happan use of ten come from?

It's prominent in Greg's latest Dara Happan writings. Will that do?

On flexibility: good point about sevens being indivisible. But if your 
basic tactical unit is a 7x7 square, associated with another identical unit 
(per my 50x2x10 model), you can manoeuvre troops in bodies which are half 
the size of a clunky Dara Happan century. I was thinking of the Roman 
manipular tactics for shuffling troops in blocks rather than ranks/files. 
If you want a depth comparable to a thicker phalanx, start doubling up 
those squares.

Again, remember that the Roman legions could have beaten the crap out of 
the Lunars in a fair (no magic) fight. I can think of no evidence that "the 
Lunar formation is LESS flexible compared to the Dara Happan or Sun Domer 
formations", and I would be surprised if anyone thought it was ("More 
inflexible than the Dara Happans..." -- what an accusation!). Lighter, 
perhaps. Compare the counter factors for a Sun Dome Templar (with its 
special defensive factor) to those for the Lunar Phalanx.

John Medway wrote:

> For those of us in the colonies:

> Is that a long 'e' sound, or short?

Obvious, really: "Tarshite" rhymes with "shite", or the joke wouldn't work.

Chris Hartley asked:

> Do other people relate anti-Lunar and Cultic activities? What I mean is,
> do you good people have Cultic policies against the Empire that could
> actually become orders to Cult members? Maybe this is well documented
> somewhere but I'd like to hear views and rationalisations. I think
> it would not be too harsh to order Orlanth/Storm Bull Rune Levels
> to aid opposition groups. These orders would come from High Priest
> level, or some kind of council as appropriate.

Speaking personally, I don't "take orders" from my cult. I just try to do 
the Orlanthi thing like it comes naturally. If a Storm Voice I know tells 
me about Lunar atrocities, I get all worked up and unhappy and then I 
behave badly next time they come to town. If someone I don't know does the 
same, I wonder why his own family and clan aren't protecting or listening 
to him -- he must have done something wrong. If he says, "My people were 
wiped out by the Evil Empire", we don't really stand to gain by opposing 
But then, I'm not a Rune Lord. Surely, Rune Lords' only justification for 
existing is to take care of this kind of problem...

In a game without so much social context, "cult policies" would be a handy 
tool for overtly manipulating players. Though it'd be helpful to remember 
that these are usually the personal policies of the guy running your part 
of the cult, rather than burning ideological issues on which all are 

There's a paragraph or four at the end of the Seven Mothers writeup in 
Cults of Prax that may be germane:

: It has been stated that most of the cults dislike, hate or fear chaos,
: but that the Lunar religion includes the unthinkable things within its
: worship and thereby earns the enmity of the world. The effect of this
: needs consideration.
: Practicality is a major determinant in the resolution of all vague dis-
: putes unless instinct or emotion provides an override, and this is true
: in Glorantha whenever a person finds himself in a situation not made
: clear by his religion. Further factors, such as social demand, personal
: feeling, manipulative spirits or gods and so on also will affect any
: decision.
: It is impractical for living beings to carry hatred too far, especially
: if the object of hatred has proved its battle prowess, is dangerous only
: when provoked, and is nearby: so the rest of the world sees the Lunars.
: Disliked everywhere, they are everyone's official scapegoat. The Lunars
: accept this abuse and make their way despite it. Prepared for the worst
: at all times, they also are prepared to accept almost anyone who wishes
: to sample the Lunar way.
: Some circumstances, though, always will provoke recognition of the Lunars
: as chaos' agents by certain non-Lunar cults, and this is likely to force
: some action. Not all Lunars will be so recognised. Only members who have
: voluntarily used chaos or related powers will provoke the reaction. This
: includes priests who know a chaos-spell, anyone who has had it cast on
: them while initiates of the cult, or those who have worshipped some
: chaotic thing.

Nick adds: Like the Red Goddess?

Note that Divination isn't the answer. In the real world, the Pope is able 
to pontificate (appropriately) with explicit statements about acts that he 
and God find "intrinsically evil", while his local representative in 
Britain points out that as both stealing sweets and executing a campaign of 
genocide are "intrinsically evil", this is a poor guide to conduct. I 
imagine many Gloranthan priests will be skilled at the same kind of 

Allan Henderson asks:

> Please forgive my ignorance but what is Credo ?

To quote the blurb:

: CREDO -- The Game of Dueling Dogmas
: "Religion as you've never seen it!"
: CREDO is a card game which combines history with hilarity for two to
: five players. Players represent factions of the early Christian church,
: competing for flock, and contriving to have their doctrines accepted as
: the belief of the one true church.
: >>> HISTORICALLY ACCURATE! <<<	[Nick sez: I like this bit!]
: + Convert the Heathen
: + Patronise, Persecute & Proselytize
: + Refute Foolish Faiths
: + Exile Opponents
: + Replace Unwise Emperors
: + Establish Your Credo!

The cover art shows a bunch of wild-eyed long-haired types arguing about 
substances -- about what you'd expect from a Californian games company. 

The latest price list from Chaosium shows it at US$ 14.95. I don't yet know 
the UK release date or price, though if I find out I'll be sure to tell 

I will shut up now before Henk starts charging for advertising space. 

Sandy wrote:

> In the EWF's wars against the Dara Happan Tripolis, they may well
> have used Praxian mercenaries.

Big Question: do you mean the Pure Horse Tribe who inhabited all of Sacred 
Prax during the Second Age, or those animal nomad scum across the River in 
Vulture Country and the Wastelands? I don't really mind, as long as their 
army had some zebras in it...



X-RQ-ID: Extro

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